Four decades ago, Kate-Lo began as a small Minnesotan buying group. We’ve since become the leading tile distributor in the Upper Midwest, and one of the largest tile distributors in North America.  

Early days

In 1964, a group of private investors formed a tiling company called Kate-Lo Minnesota. The company name was an homage to two of the partners’ wives: Kathleen (Kate) and Lois. Within a year, Bill LeVahn joined Kate-Lo and operations moved to Bill’s home in Robbinsdale, MN. During this time, distribution increased from three states to twenty.

Further expansion

In 1974, Kate-Lo Minnesota incorporated and moved the warehouse, corporate headquarters and 13 employees to Brooklyn Park, MN. Our focus at the time was providing beautiful showrooms and large stocking inventories to the local construction industry. In the following years, we created more showrooms throughout the Twin Cities. In 1987, Kate-Lo employees bought out the original investors with an employee stock ownership plan.

Partnership with Olympia Tile

In 1993, Olympia Tile—one of the largest tile distributors in North America—purchased Kate-Lo. This was a big opportunity for Kate-Lo to expand not only its product line, but also its reputation in the U.S. market. Kate-Lo opened branches in Des Moines, IA and Omaha, NE, and a resource center in Fargo, ND. In the Twin Cities, we have showrooms in Plymouth, Burnsville and Roseville and a Retail Outlet Center in Plymouth.

Looking ahead

The tile industry is always changing, with new technology and designs being introduced all the time. For over 40 years, Kate-Lo has stayed on the forefront of tiling innovations. We look forward to many more years of bringing you the world’s best tile.

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